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3D Printer


WalterJay

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So I bought a 3D printer. Goal is to 1) enjoy it, 2) make aquarium equipment, 3) maybe sell some stuff on Etsy. Some pics below of it in process, then a couple of the builds. I made a flexible shrimp (moves in both up/down and side to side directions), some shrimp caves, and a castle/tower thing. The material it came with is lighter than water so I had to cover the bases with a bit of sand for them to stay still. I need to look into some other materials. There's a link for a video clip of the printer in action at the bottom.

 

 

castle and tubes.JPG

shrimp print.JPG

IMG_1187.MOV

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Ultimaker 3. It's an investment, the "sell some stuff on Etsy" was a bit of an undersell. It has dual extruders to print in multiple colors which was a feature I wanted so it can run overnight (single extruder machines can print multiple colors but you have to stop the machine and switch out colors during the printing. With 2 you load multiple colors and just go). It's a higher end model which probably isn't typically a great starter machine. But, I have a solid background in CNC Machining (3 - axis, 5- axis, 7-axis) and CAM programming in the aerospace and medical industries so I went for it.

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On 12/29/2017 at 8:42 PM, WalterJay said:

Ultimaker 3. It's an investment, the "sell some stuff on Etsy" was a bit of an undersell. It has dual extruders to print in multiple colors which was a feature I wanted so it can run overnight (single extruder machines can print multiple colors but you have to stop the machine and switch out colors during the printing. With 2 you load multiple colors and just go). It's a higher end model which probably isn't typically a great starter machine. But, I have a solid background in CNC Machining (3 - axis, 5- axis, 7-axis) and CAM programming in the aerospace and medical industries so I went for it.

 

i dig it. i have a diy kit i bought and put together last year.  it is single extruder. and the quality is not as good as your print in the pics.  mine is more grainy.  I am sure i need better quality parts as mine was a kit from china.  but it is a lot of fun

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Ya, I'm just not good with electronics so I didn't want to build something myself. Here are some photos, I've made some aquarium equipment. The items here are an underwater filter and a little crayfish.

IMG_1344.JPG

image1 (2).jpeg

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So I've been messing around a bit. One of my other hobbies is Bitcoin mining. I made these adapters, which allow you to attach miners to ducting for better ventilation. Threw some up on Ebay and sold 12 in 1 day so it is slowly paying for itself. 

duct 2.JPG

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6 hours ago, WalterJay said:

So I've been messing around a bit. One of my other hobbies is Bitcoin mining. I made these adapters, which allow you to attach miners to ducting for better ventilation. Threw some up on Ebay and sold 12 in 1 day so it is slowly paying for itself.

 

Is that still profitable to hobbyists the US? I don't know what off-the-shelf miners are like nowadays, beefed up GPUs or has everything switched to ASICs yet? Either way, that's a nifty way of paying off the printer.

 

40 minutes ago, chappy6107 said:

I do not know anything about bitcoin mining.  I am assuming you earn bitcoin by doing some kind of work?

 

Bitcoin is a weird and ingenious system, if you're at all technically inclined I highly recommend spending 0.5-1 hour reading up on how blockchain works. It's pretty entertaining.

The four sentence version is that there is a virtual ledger (the blockchain) that is shared across the world that tracks all exchanges of bitcoin. Each block in the chain incorporates some of the previous block so that it's very hard to fake a transaction in the past: one could theoretically trace the blockchain all the way to the first block (and all the transactions within it), so you can't dupe it without modifying every instance of the ledger on every computer in the world. In order to incentivize people to add blocks to the chain (which validates transactions and puts them into the ledger), those who do the computation are rewarded with bitcoin: the ledger-keepers are the miners! The reason it requires special hardware is that bitcoin limits the rate at which new coins are released by making the computations artificially hard as a rate-limiting feature. Congrats if you were able to follow any of that :P

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9 hours ago, aotf said:

Bitcoin is a weird and ingenious system, if you're at all technically inclined I highly recommend spending 0.5-1 hour reading up on how blockchain works. It's pretty entertaining.

The four sentence version is that there is a virtual ledger (the blockchain) that is shared across the world that tracks all exchanges of bitcoin. Each block in the chain incorporates some of the previous block so that it's very hard to fake a transaction in the past: one could theoretically trace the blockchain all the way to the first block (and all the transactions within it), so you can't dupe it without modifying every instance of the ledger on every computer in the world. In order to incentivize people to add blocks to the chain (which validates transactions and puts them into the ledger), those who do the computation are rewarded with bitcoin: the ledger-keepers are the miners! The reason it requires special hardware is that bitcoin limits the rate at which new coins are released by making the computations artificially hard as a rate-limiting feature. Congrats if you were able to follow any of that :P

 

Thanks for the break down, I kind of follow it.  So there are computing machines specifically set up to do these computations that validate transactions? 

why would it not be profitable, are the machines really expensive or the amount of time it tanks to compute 1 block too long?

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11 minutes ago, chappy6107 said:

 

Thanks for the break down, I kind of follow it.  So there are computing machines specifically set up to do these computations that validate transactions? 

why would it not be profitable, are the machines really expensive or the amount of time it tanks to compute 1 block too long?

 

Exactly! At the beginning, you and I could have mined some bitcoin with a normal computer. The thing is that the rate-limiting algorithms respond to how many bitcoin were produced in the previous two week period (I think) so the more people who mine, the harder it gets for each individual (since the same amount is released despite more people trying). Miners started specializing and shifted over to GPUs for their mining rigs. They are intended for gaming but happen to be really good at the type of number crunching involved. The rigs got more and more expensive, so it became an investment to try to get into mining. Another issue that comes up is that there's so much intensive computation going on that electricity costs actually start to eat into your returns. If we tried mining on our normal computers now, it would take us weeks/months/years to actually get any bitcoin, but we'd be paying the electricity bill that whole time. As bitcoin became more and more valuable, more specialized/expensive hardware became worthwhile/necessary. Now there's a shift from GPUs to ASICs, which are Application Specific Integrated Chips. The work to design and manufacture good mining ASICs is expensive, but the high cost of bitcoin makes it an investment chip-makers are willing to buy into.z

 

WalterJay might correct me where I'm wrong; I'm not a miner, just someone who did a little reading on cryptos a while back.

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1 hour ago, aotf said:

 

Exactly! At the beginning, you and I could have mined some bitcoin with a normal computer. The thing is that the rate-limiting algorithms respond to how many bitcoin were produced in the previous two week period (I think) so the more people who mine, the harder it gets for each individual (since the same amount is released despite more people trying). Miners started specializing and shifted over to GPUs for their mining rigs. They are intended for gaming but happen to be really good at the type of number crunching involved. The rigs got more and more expensive, so it became an investment to try to get into mining. Another issue that comes up is that there's so much intensive computation going on that electricity costs actually start to eat into your returns. If we tried mining on our normal computers now, it would take us weeks/months/years to actually get any bitcoin, but we'd be paying the electricity bill that whole time. As bitcoin became more and more valuable, more specialized/expensive hardware became worthwhile/necessary. Now there's a shift from GPUs to ASICs, which are Application Specific Integrated Chips. The work to design and manufacture good mining ASICs is expensive, but the high cost of bitcoin makes it an investment chip-makers are willing to buy into.z

 

WalterJay might correct me where I'm wrong; I'm not a miner, just someone who did a little reading on cryptos a while back.

 

I never knew anything about this.  Thanks for filling me in.

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4 hours ago, aotf said:

snip

 

WalterJay might correct me where I'm wrong; I'm not a miner, just someone who did a little reading on cryptos a while back.

No you're pretty on. I have some Antminer S9's which are specialized machines. ROI on them with current Bitcoin prices is around 130 days. 

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